Jack Simpson - 06/12/09

We got 'em, you got 'em! All God's children got 'em, and we cannot get rid of 'em! Yes, I'm talking about those pesty ants. Exterminators are trying but, so far, their special repellents have not succeeded in total control of the problem. No doubt about it. Too many ants are a damnable situation.

Co-workers of mine have offered suggestions ... try a mixture of borax and sugar. If this does not get 'em, sprinkle some cinnamon along their path. Think about using hot pepper, along with those expensive domestic sprays.

There is one suggestion I am in agreement with. Do not leave anything sweet laying around. Ants find a spill before you can clean it up sometimes. How do they know? I guess their scouts are always out searching for water, food and shelter. Putting sweet things in sealed bags helps, but this is not a 100 percent solution.

One friend had a big smile on his face when ants were mentioned in conversation. He said when he had an ant problem he put out some cornmeal. The ants ate the meal, drank water and swelled up. He had a wicked grin on his face as he told this story.

One exterminator did an excellent job turning over rocks and spraying everywhere he saw signs of ant nests. He said bait traps might be his next suggestion.

We have encountered ants everywhere you can think of - yes, in the mailbox, on the porches, pool and well houses. And the garden. It is frustrating when sitting on the porch or patio to find them crawling up your legs!

The problem is not new. Even in grandmother's day ants were her concern. She used a lot of borax and sugar set out in jar lids left over from summer canning.

Ants may be pests, but, as we all know, they are important to the ecosystem. Total eradication may be a pipe dream because, so far, nothing has worked totally for their invasion of the home.

I read somewhere recently that liquid soap is something ants do not like. Maybe I'll try that soon. My wife says she has never in her life seen so many ants in one place and if we cannot learn to control them, she is moving out!

Our favorite exterminators and I will continue to monitor the problem and try our very best to eliminate these critters wherever we find 'em. Happiness at home is the ultimate ambition.

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Jack Simpson is a former educator, veteran, author, and law enforcement officer. His column appears each Friday.